Monthly Archives: August 2014

What do I love about Italy?

Ciao all,

I have exciting news (for me at least!), I was asked by Cathy on the AnItalophile blog recently to do a guest blog for her ex-pat “what do you love about Italy” series. Writing it made me realise that there’s so much and it was difficult to pick specifics. I think I’ve gone off the beaten track a bit with the ones I ended up with…

Have a look at the post here.



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Summer Jamboree, festas and house update…

Ciao all!

How is everybody? It’s been a busy week or two here again – in fact, I feel like it’s going to be busy until Christmas at this rate! Exciting busy rather than stressful busy so that’s ok.

So – a quick run-through of what I’ve been up to…

Summer Jamboree

My long standing readers might remember that I never made it to Senigallia’s Summer Jamboree last year (one of the biggest rock & roll festivals in the world) because I took the wrong train taking me two hours south instead of 25 minutes north where I was supposed to be going. But this year, I’m thrilled to report that I made it! And it’s such a great event – a night of great music and lots to see and do and the atmosphere was buzzing. I’ve never seen so many people in one place in Italy. Everyone makes a real effort and dresses up in 50’s kind of gear. I had a great time dancing, and would have loved to have done a bit more (stupid headache). Strangely though, despite the amount of effort everyone had gone to to dress up, nobody else was dancing!


Summer Jamboree

Summer Jamboree… nobody is dancing! Perhaps it was still too early (midnight though?!?!)

Castrum Sarnani

The next day we headed back inland to the Sarnano house and went to a medieval festa (“party”) called Castrum Sarnani in Sarnano. That ended up being a good evening too – lots of people dressed up in medieval costume and plying medieval trades in a medieval fashion. All Italian events seem to generally focus on food and this was no exception – there were lots of tavernas selling `olde-worlde` food which you could buy with denari (old Italian coins that a guy was making as part of the medieval trades).  We caught a “fire guy” display (I’m not sure how else to describe him) – he set things alight and waved them around energetically –  and to good effect. For once, I had access to a decent camera rather than my phone camera (which is sometimes actually depressingly better than my expensive decent camera) so I had fun playing with some effects for a change. I think I’ll take the decent camera out more often.

Fire Guy doing fire related things

Fire Guy doing fire related things

Due Sorrelle

Next up was a long walk to a beautiful little bay back around Monte Conero with Il Polemico, his friend and Pane Caldo. We left from Sirollo….


That speck in the distance on the right hand on the hill is the little village of Sirollo. We walked to the point where the photo was taken, a beautiful look-out point and then….



…we walked down to the little speck of beach you can see… The two smaller rocks sticking out of the water are the `due sorelle`(the two sisters).


This was the view from the beach looking back at where we’d taken the photo on the top of that cliff

We went at a bad time of year – in every other month other than July and August, it’s usually empty because it’s a very steep, long, dangerous and usually forbidden, walk down to it. However, because it’s summer and the Italians are all off school and work, ferries run to and fro so it was jam-packed! It was lovely all the same though and the sea was really refreshing after the walk down. Then came the walk back up – it took 3 days for my legs to work properly again.

Urba Salvia

Then…. Roman ruins! We keep driving past these on the way to the Sarnano house and it’s always intrigued us so we finally stopped after a rather unsuccessful trip to buy garden furniture in Civitanova though we did find a good sized mall there so that was good to discover at least. Urbs Salvia is a lovely little park to wander around with an ancient roman theatre to look at and lots of cute little picnic spots with fabulous views. There’s an amphitheatre and a tower too (I think?) which we didn’t get to see because I was too cheap to buy a tour ticket. We must do that one day when I don’t feel like I’m about to go bankrupt (see House section).


Part of the roman theatre – it looked more impressive in real life (and there was a fence hence the odd angle)


We attempted to go to another festa in Sassotetto following our Roman ruin trek and though we didn’t find it (unless it consisted of a priest doing an outside mass), I’m so pleased we went. Sassotetto is a ski resort so it’s quite high up – 1624 metres and wow, what amazing views. It’s only about 20 minutes down (up?!) the road (in the winter, with my current car, I think it will be about 3 hours, if we arrives at all). I think it’s one of my favourite spots in Italy so far and you can even see Monte Conero from the top which is comforting! I’m pleased because I’d sort of developed my “favourite places” tour for visitors which was all around Camerano so now I’ve got a tour all worked out for around here too.


Warning: Do not approach these flowers with flipflops


Pretty pretty pretty….

House Update!

The house developments so far seem to be limited to buying everything in Ikea and OBI (the Italian equivalent of the UK’s B&Q). I am not naturally a spender – I am a saver. If I do reluctantly spend, it’s generally for the purposes of existing or to enable me to save more money for a long term plan or project. So it goes against my very essence to go into a shop and buy stuff. But buying stuff is necessary, particularly if I want to have a nice house with a fully functioning kitchen and a comfortable bedroom reasonably quickly, as I do.  So my recent extravagance is giving me a prolonged panic attack. Things should be delivered from Ikea at some point during the week of the 28th August. Note I said ‘week’. In the UK, I used to get annoyed if I had to stay in the entire morning or afternoon because companies couldn’t be specific about when they’d deliver. In Italy, you seemingly have to take a week off work to wait patiently for them to arrive. Also, I don’t know how they’ll find the house. Even I still struggle to find it. I will be nothing less than gobsmacked if my Ikea delivery arrives.

Wifi is being connected shortly too – we currently use an internet dongle to access the internet which is painful so wifi will be amazing. With any luck by the end of the week I’ll be able to Skype people again!

In terms of upcoming work on the house, I’ve been very organised and produced a floor plan and highlighted where we’d like changes and produced an accompanying spreadsheet going into more detail. This has been sent off to the Estate Agent who sold us the house (an American) and who also does renovation work with local tradesmen. I’ve also got the names of other local trades people. Going with them may be cheaper but also inevitably scarier because of the language barrier. I can chit chat in Italian but I can’t yet go into detail on building/electrical and plumbing requirements. So that’ll be entertaining.

We’ve also been doing some gardening, focussing on the terrace. Pane Caldo came up with a pot recycling scheme with some of the old things left by the previous owner that we were going to throw out. They’ve now been turned into stunning plant pots. Visiting the garden centre proved to be rather amusing with our conversations go thusly “What’s this do you think?”…… “hmm, It’s definitely a plant”…….. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Shall we get it?”……… “Yeah”.    I’ve decided our conversations should include more by way of gardening vocabulary. Anyway, our garden centre visit has resulted in, I think, a rather unconventional strawberry plant hanging basket, a pretty plant that we hacked the roots off in order to fit into an old kettle, and two random flowering plants of which one looks mostly dead. Still, I’m pleased with the results!

Ok, well I know we have rosemary, a chilli plant, some herbs and some strawberry plants. Does anyone know what the flowers are?

Ok, well I know we have rosemary, a chilli plant, some herbs and some strawberry plants. Does anyone know what the flowers are?

You may have seen the impressive selection of veg we received from the neighbours in the last blog. Well, I have plans to share our impressive harvest with them...

You may have seen the impressive selection of veg we received from the neighbours in the last blog. Well, I have plans to share our impressive harvest with them…

I am thrilled, THRILLED to report that Klaus the Scorpion hasn’t reappeared although I did see his young nephew in the cantina (which is the general stuff storage area so hardly surprising). I happened to mention the scorpion to the previous owner in an email asking about some house bits & pieces. He reported that I shouldn’t worry about them; their sting is just like a bee sting. However, I should worry about the deadly vipers. Excellent.

Ok that’s enough rambling for me! I hope you all have good weeks.
















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New house, new neighbours and Klaus the unwanted house guest…


Well! It wasn’t all a con as I suspected, it turns out I have an actual house! 🙂

The house - in fact, our bit of the house. It's split into 3 abodes in a rather odd and random fashion.

The house! I should say “Our bit of the house”. It’s split into 3 abodes in a rather odd and random fashion.

`Moving in` day was Tuesday last week and it was a bit full on. I say moving in day but we’ve got the flat in Falconara for another couple of months still so it’s going to be a gradual move.

Tuesday morning we headed to Gualdo, a little town close to the new house, to finally meet my lawyer. My fears of being conned weren’t helped by the fact that she’d forgotten to bring us the keys. However, a quick call later and it was arranged that we pick them up from a Tabaccheria in another local town.

On successfully locating the keys, it was time to locate the house. We had a house number and a road name to go by but Sat Nav didn’t recognise either so we navigated ourselves to the house using only our sixth sense. “Erm, does that patch of grass look familiar?” “That hill rings a bell eh?”, “We didn’t pass a farm before did we?”, “Were there this many pot holes last time?” (I swear one of the pot holes on our road is big enough to swallow the entire car if approached incorrectly. It might even be one of the natural sink hole phenomena). Still, after several wrong turns we went straight to it.

So we parked up and headed in and the place looks pretty much as we were expecting but for some reason rather than excitement, I was just overwhelmingly daunted! I think I was expecting to feel instantly at home and it’s well, not very homely at the moment. However, the house is habitable and in fact came fully furnished which was handy given I have no furniture in Italy.

The first day there consisted of cleaning things and sort of getting our bearings. There are odd little characteristics we hadn’t spotted before, including a sign on the plug socket saying that it shouldn’t be used under any circumstances. I really, REALLY want to see what happens when you plug something in. (If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know what’s happened).

Anyway, let me show you around…

Main floor (ground floor)

It’s not really a `ground` floor but it’s the floor that you walk into. You actually go up some steps at the front of the house to enter it and you walk into the kitchen.

Kitchen: The oven and hob run off an eyebrow scorching gas cylinder, the fridge / freezer which we spent ages cleaning suddenly stopped working (fuse?), and the sink leaks. There is a fireplace that takes up half the kitchen. A whole new kitchen needs to be put in and I hate to say it but I think I’m going to get rid of the fireplace.  


That cooker on the right hand side has a tendency to burn your eyebrows off.


The other side of the kitchen looking towards a wall which will not be there for much longer! The fireplace on the left takes up half the kitchen wall!

Living room: Small at the moment (hoping to knock down a wall to make it bigger) and  it has chairs I can’t bring myself to touch with my bare flesh.




Other side of the living room… Bit basic you see.

Random other area: This is where the `stairs` to the upstairs is. By stairs I mean perilous wooden steps.


Warning: Alcohol & these stairs do not mix. In the bottom right corner is the wood burning stove. And I’m going to do something exciting to that wooden table. Mwahahaha.

Bathroom:  The bathroom is small and a bit ugly and it’s so dark at night in the shower that I have to sing to myself to not be scared. Better for everyone’s sakes if I have a shower in the morning I think. Or get a decent light. I’m planning to overhaul this bathroom as a priority – why does everyone these days get rid of their bath!!!

The bathroom... it doesn't look bad here actually. There's a shower next to the bidet, behind the camera.

The bathroom… it doesn’t look bad here actually. There’s a shower next to the bidet, behind the camera. The cistern takes roughly 5 hours to fill up (slight exaggeration. Maybe like 4.5 hours).

Upstairs `Soffitto`

There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and the terrace up there. The two bedrooms are technically doubles but very small. I forgot to take photos! One has a very slanted roof. It would be nice to put in a couple of bay windows up there so that one could actually stand up in the slanted roof bedroom and in the bathroom.  I think my favourite thing about the house is the terrace. It’s only small, and slants and has a leaking gutter right next to it causing a little stream of water to flow across it when it rains (water feature?), but I love eating out in the open and I love our view.


View from the terrace to next door’s place.


This is the terrace with a very pretty view…

Downstairs `Cantina`

This is quite a big space – there’s potential to create a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom down here. However, I break out into a cold sweat every time I think about amount of work required! I think we’ll tackle that one after the other floors have been done.

Camera 360 Camera 360 Camera 360


We have two garden spaces – a front garden which is opposite the house. I reckon you could fit maybe 6 cars on it (we haven’t measured it) and there’s a back garden which is about two cars big. Pane Caldo has been very enthusiastically planning it – we’re going to have a forest, orchard, lake and picnic area.

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…….

We were introduced to the neighbours. Our immediate next door neighbour is possibly the nicest person ever. She paraded us up and down the hamlet shouting “look what beautiful young neighbours we have!!!” until one by one everyone within a 5 mile radius came out and said hello. Everyone is very friendly. We have enough vegetables from their gardens to start a small grocery business.


The vegetables happy in their new home…

I made shortbread for them…


They actually came out exactly like shortbread. That never happens!

My favourite thing about the next door neighbour is she has kittens! And she offered to give us one. I think that means I can say hello to a specific kitten when we occasionally see it. I imagine the neighbour would think I’d gone insane if I let the kitten inside the house.


Two of the cats – they were having a cuddle on the drive. Awwww.

And then, there are the OTHER neighbours……… housemates if you will.

I now completely understand why the previous owner had a net over the bed and on all the windows. Mosquito’s are the last of our worries. After spotting this on the way to the bathroom……


Klaus the Scorpion (less scary with a name eh?)

… on our first night we did a bit of research. There are indeed scorpions in Italy. Boooooo! Mostly they only sting one month of the year. Yaay! August. Boooooooooooooooooo! And they like warm bedding apparently. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

The next day the neighbours knocked (and came straight in) and wondered why we’d been shut up inside all day. I reported back about Klaus the Scorpion and said from now on access to the house would be closely guarded – no more open unsupervised doors and windows. In fact, I might build a moat as well. The neighbours laughed and said that we had just been unlucky, that they don’t really make an appearance ever and it was just because the place had been shut up for a while and we should have just trodden on him. What we actually did was to put a glass over him. Neither of us could cope with moving him so we left him there until we were feeling more emotionally resilient the following morning (note: emotional resilience is not improved following a night of scorpion infested nightmares). The next morning we were both feeling sad and guilty because Klaus had died….

But it was a trick! A trick I tell you! Scheming scorpion! We splashed a bit of water on him and bam! Back to life! Never trust a scorpion. He was subsequently released into the wilds of the front garden.

Anyway. I realise the scorpion fear is irrational. Why do I like these…


Aw, cutie. He was only the size of my thumb. See, he doesn’t even need a name, he’s so cute.

But not these….


Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a dead one that just sort of appeared on the terrace out of nowhere. I think I’m just as worried about what killed it as the thing itself!

But I have grand plans to address the problem….

Now I know why the previous owner had a random golf club in the cantina.

Now I know why the previous owner had a random golf club in the cantina.

So I have mixed feelings on the house – there are good bits and bad bits. We’re back there today after a trip to Ikea. I’m excited about that – it will be the first time I’ve been `extravagant` since I stopped working (if extravagance includes buying saucepans and crockery). I’m hoping to bond with it more in the next week or so when it starts to become more homely and after we’ve re-homed some of the wildlife.

Tune in soon for more an update on how it’s going and some photo’s from the very cool Summer Jamboree in Senigallia.

Have good weeks!


ps. Apologies for any spelling/ grammatical mistakes – my editor is on holiday! Pfft!

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Roadtrip back to Italia via France, Germany & Switzerland


How are you all? I wanted to give a quick run down on our very scenic roadtrip back to Italy – it feels like a long time ago now but in reality we only got back on Monday.

So, the first leg of our journey was from Portsmouth to Cherbourg…


View from the ferry towards Cherbourg


Rare non-child head occupied view of the window. We had good seats.

Not particularly fascinating photos but it’s evidence nonetheless! The ferry was fast – only 3 hours as opposed to over 6 hours on the trip back to the UK. Then we had a few hours drive down to a little town called Olivet near Orleans in France. We’d had a long day and couldn’t drum up the necessary motivation to take photos but it was pretty and we camped up just by a river. The campsite, Camping Olivet had the makings of a good one but it was let down because they didn’t have toilet roll (indeed, no toilet seats – that seems to be a typically French thing???) or soap and you either had cold water or warm water (either good for showers and bad for teethbrushing or vice versa!).

Then onto Freiburg im Breisgau (I’m just going to call it Freiburg) in Germany for a couple of nights. Freiburg is really lovely – I thoroughly recommend going. The town is pretty with quaint little cobblestones and little streams running through the streets and the houses and apartments are all well kept and pretty. It’s right next to the Black Forest so there are some great walks too. We went on a 4 hour walk up the local mountain (I do not recommend doing this in flipflops) which had some great views and then took a cable car down and then a couple of busses/trams to get back to the campsite. The campsite itself, Moslepark, was one of the prettiest I’ve been to. Lots of flowers and the facilities were all very swish. Our pitch was alas, right next to the children’s play area – we had refreshing early starts.


Look how pretty the cobblestones are!


School buildling – very pretty but with irritatingly non symmetrical brickwork.


This was taken from halfway up our mountain walk (Schauinsland) for anyone wishing to do the same – 1284m

The streets were wide, the pavements were wide, lovely well kept houses, lots of cyclists...

The streets were wide, the pavements were wide, lovely well kept houses, lots of cyclists…

Then our final stop was in La Fouly, Swtizerland. I like Switzerland and I’ve stayed in a couple of beautiful places in the past – Interlaken and Lake Lucerne, I tried to book a couple of nights around the same places this time around but they were booked out or needed us to stay more than 5 nights. Unfortunate I thought at the time, but actually I’m really pleased they were because the campsite, Camping des Glaciers in La Fouly where we ended up staying is set in the prettiest environment I’ve ever stayed in. The campsite was set between majestic glacier capped mountains, a trickling stream teeming with wild flowers and a quaint little village. Alas, after setting up camp and successfully drying out the sodden tent from a wet last night in Freiburg, that’s when the rain really DID come. At this point we were in town  so found a little bar to wait until it stopped. On and on it went so in the end we had a very nice 80’s style dinner at the bar – fondue (even me, an avid cheese eater, was cheesed out by the end of that meal). Anyway, these are some of the photos…


I quite fancy having a log cabin like this…


Pretty flowers…


The mountains…


And more mountains…

Then it was back to Falconara in Italy, Again, the stark difference in driving styles between the Italians and the French and Germans was noticeable! However, we learnt something – when it starts to rain, admittedly this was a downpour of biblical proportions, the Italians all start to drive sensibly and use that strange extraneous ‘slow’ (inside to you and me) lane on the motorway. Some even stop on the hard shoulder under motorway bridges until this phenomenon has passed. Hardly anybody uses the 3rd (outside overtaking) lane meaning that if you do, because you’ve spent most of your life driving in those type of conditions,  the traffic runs miles better and even though it’s raining, you can make much more headway. So my tip for motorway driving here – do it during a downpour! Otherwise be prepared to stew in increasing frustration and incredulity as everybody clogs up the middle and outside lane and nobody uses the inside lane even though it would benefit everybody.

Right, that’s it for this post – tune in shortly for another post on the new house and the scary uninvited houseguest…


Ciao xxx

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House buying – Italy vs UK!


Well, well, well! Sorry it’s been an age since I’ve written! It’s been an extraordinarily busy month and a half back in the UK sorting various things out. I’m back in Italia now as of yesterday. So, let me tell you what I’ve been up to. I’ve been a bit cagey about it in the blog because writing it makes me seems like a property mogul. I’m honestly not, it sounds more impressive than it is!

Property Numero Uno

Before I moved out to Italy, I’d worked out my budget and what I could live off comfortably and I had saved some money for a house in Italy too. It was quite finely tuned. I would live off rental income from a flat in London and bolster that with earnings from something more creative (still working on it!). However, as soon as I went to Italy my finally tuned budget required an upheaval because now over the next 5 years, I have to find a significant chunk of money to repair the lifts for the flat I’m letting in London (I think I could hire dedicated people to carry my tenants up to the flat for less).

What to do? Well, I taught English. You’ve probably all read about how successful that was 😉 I can confirm I’m not a natural! So, I decided to chop the savings I was going to use for a house in Italy in half and buy a place in the UK for letting. It was a better option than buying a dream house in Italy but still having to teach!

So the flat I bought was a bit of a mess to start off with but the price reflected that and it had great potential. It completed the day I got back to the UK. It couldn’t have been better timing! The next month or so was focussed on painting and putting in a new kitchen and carpets etc. (Thank you Mum and Dad – I couldn’t have done it without you!) and now I think it looks really nice! I have tenants due in on Friday so fingers crossed that all works out!


Property Numero Due

I have an Italian House! 🙂 I think! After a week, I still have not a scrap of documentation confirming that! So, what useful titbits can I impart to you all about buying a house in Italy? I really don’t know! I think I’ll be able to give you more insight on that in a week or so when I’m physically in the house (or not!). At the moment my advice is balanced 50 /50 on “just run with it and accept that the Italian house process is massively inefficient, it’ll all work out in the end” or “don’t do it – they’ll take your money and you won’t even have a house to show for it”.

UK VS Italy – Who has the best house buying process?!

So in the absence of being able to provide a decent set of lessons learnt yet, I thought it would be interesting to highlight the key differences between buying in the UK and buying in Italy having done both in the last month or two. Please note, this is all my own personal experience – perhaps other people have found it a bit easier! In fact, if you’ve bought somewhere in Italy yourself, please let me know in the comments below how it went for you! 🙂

Finding a house

UK: 99% of houses for sale will be advertised on the internet. Every estate agent has a website. Every house advert has photos of the house.

Italy: Maybe 30% of houses for sale are on the internet. To find a house, you have to physically go to the location you want to buy and trawl the streets looking for yellow ‘vendersi’ signs which often have no details of the house itself, only a phone number. House adverts that do make it onto the internet rarely have a photo of the house. If they do have a photo, it will be of a lamp or a scooter the owner is proud of.

Estate Agents:

UK: Once you’re ‘registered’ with an Estate Agent, you’ll get email updates and phone calls from agents whether you want to be notified or not. They are generally expert sellers – they’re really very keen to sell you a house, that’s how they make their money. 

Italy: Once ‘registered’ with an Estate Agent, nothing will happen at all. They don’t email, they don’t call and they don’t reply to emails or calls either. They often don’t go into the office. If you manage to get an Estate Agent to take you around a house, they make you sign something first to promise that you won’t try and buy the property without including them. My Estate Agent for the Italy place was American. It was a coincidence that I ended up with an English speaking Estate Agent; I wasn’t looking for one. He was simply the only estate agent that responded!


UK: When you purchase a house it’s a wise idea to get it surveyed and in fact, mandatory if you’re buying it with a mortgage. In the UK, the surveyors job is to ensure that the house you’re buying is what you think you’re buying. The surveyor will have a look at the property and give you a very detailed lengthy report on the roof, damp, structural stability etc. If you do something to the inside of your house, generally, people in the UK don’t care.

Italy: They have ‘Geometra’s’. The Geometra seems to be similar to a surveyor but also has a key role in terms of comparing house /property plans with what is actually there. If you change something to the inside of your property, it matters and the authorities need to be aware of it. In my experience, you don’t receive any documentation from the Geometra and it was me drawing attention to the discrepancies in the plan rather than vice versa. As well as providing thoughts on how the property could be renovated (genuinely useful), they provide useful suggestions on how to resolve issues like doors being where there shouldn’t be doors – simply pile some breeze blocks in the doorway and voila – no door! Change the plans?! Pah!


UK: What’s a Notary?! They serve no purpose in the English house buying process.

Italy: Qualified lawyers are not enough for the Italians. As with many things in Italy, there needs to be an additional and costly level of bureaucracy. I was buying the Italian house whilst I was in the UK so I needed a Notary to give `Power of Attorney` to my lawyer in Italy so she could sign off the documents. Then I had to get something called Apostille to authenticate the Power of Attorney form to verify that the Notary was indeed a Notary and not a con artist (ha!). You can save a bit of money by doing that yourself by sending it to a Government office (££’s). THEN, I needed a Notary in Italy to read through the documentation and sign that off. That was 2250 Euros. Apparently this is an excellent deal, negotiated by my lawyer (I am still in the process of summoning up enough gratitude to respond). My UK Notary had a really lovely antique looking embossing device, beautifully intricate stickers, an infra-red marking device and a signature so elaborate it must have taken months of effort to devise. The only thing I’ve seen of my Italian Notary is an invoice. It’s not embossed. There’s not even a sticker. In fact, it’s not even signed. I feel hard done by.


UK: We pay a deposit but I think there’s still a danger of “gazumping”. Until you exchange, having the house you’ve been planning at night when you can’t sleep being pulled from underneath you is always a risk.

Italy: You sign a contract to say that you’re committed to the purchase of the property – if you go back on that as the buyer then you lose your deposit and if the owner does, they have to give you your money back and pay you the same amount again. I quite like that.


UK: Your lawyer works for you. They will make sure that you’re not going to get fleeced even if you’re not that bothered yourself. They’ll hold up the entire buying process if you haven’t had a drainage report for instance, so keen are they that you know what you’re getting into. Any concerns were addressed with a detailed response outlining options and a considered recommendation.  

Italy: I think my lawyer could have also been working for the owner as well. I also suspect they’ve not even heard of a drainage report. Concerns were rebuffed with “don’t worry, it’s not a problem” even though all evidence indicates that it was. My thoughts at the end of the process was not to ask for advice but to do my own research and just state what I would and would not accept. That worked a lot better.


UK: The paperwork from the UK property may have made a significant dent in the Amazonian rainforests.

Italy: So far, the paperwork has amounted to less than 10 pages. Not that I’ve even seen the final contract.


UK: In the UK there’s maybe a 10 week average to house buying but you can do that any time during the year.

Italy: You must get your house all signed off before August otherwise Italy as a nation goes on holiday and you can’t get the documentation done.

Weighing things up, I think it’s safe to say that my buying experience was a lot less stressful in the UK than it was in Italy.  I feel a bit like I’ve been over so many barrels that I can no longer stand upright. Alas the UK property is not set in the Sibilini Mountains.

So that’s my thoughts on the buying process!

Next up, I’ll report back on my lovely return trip to Italy in the Nanmobile via Orleans (France), Freiburg (Germany) and Somewhere-in-Switzerland (Switzerland).

A presto!


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